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100% Whole Wheat Biscuits from Perky’s Notebook

100% Whole Wheat Biscuits from Perky’s Notebook

Today I decided to make biscuits, with Whole Wheat flour.  I searched the internet for a recipe that looked like something that I wanted to make, but atlas, I did not see anything that moved my taste buds, nothing that made my mouth water.  Then I thought back to my Baking & Pastry Class…. to my biscuit practical. ( A practical is a hands on cooking or baking test where one is judged by sanitation, method, and final outcome of the product… a real test of your knowledge & actual skills in the kitchen.) I will never forget my biscuit practical. ” Ahhh, Christina, you did such a fine job with everything, except the shortening.  It is supposed to be the size of walnuts not peas.  That is what keeps those lovely layers of tender biscuit together, otherwise they fall apart.  I got an “A” but just by the skin of my teeth:)  You see biscuit making is all in the method… the method.  And that is what I am going to explain here J

  • First of all…. A scale can make all the difference in baking goods that are just good and baking that PERFECT baked good  You see with a scale it doesn’t matter that you only filled up the measuring cup ¾ of the way, because you are weighting the item not measuring it  Scaling out the ingredients will make a difference, sometimes it will make a big difference.  It really depends on how carefully you measured your ingredients before… I highly suggest using the metric system.  A gram is a much smaller amount than an ounce, so if you are off by a gram it is a little different from being off by a ounce

(personally, I have an Escali scale… I love it  it has ounces/grams and even an aqua button for liquids it is battery-powered but I purchased a cord for it so that if the battery dies I just can plug it in.. this was great for school)

  • Second off… forget the food processor and mixers!  Get into the dough with your hands and fingers!!! Work your arm muscles  Feel the dough, it will let you know when it is ready  and on a side note it is very therapeutic .  I find that when I work with dough by hand that it helps relieve my fingers from pain… all these years of chopping and typing have done a number on my fingers, but the dough seems to gently them of this pain for a few days.  I have gotten to the point where I actually make bread just to relief my fingers from pain at least every two or three days.  It’s a good thing that bread doesn’t last more than 2 or 3 days
  • Third off… don’t be scared to experiment  I always make the recipe first as it is in the recipe book.  Then I will experiment….. sometimes it works and sometimes… well, my boyfriend has to take out the trash;)  LOL
  • Fourth off… make sure you Clean As You Go…. My suggestion is to purchase a stainless steel bench knife (bench scraper) they are not expensive  as soon as you are done scrape  your work surface and then wipe it down with a wet cloth then dry it.  If you let dough dry on the counter it can be a mess to clean

Now on to the biscuits

I added a little yogurt to make these biscuits more tender & moist.  I also decided to add the Maldon Sea Salt Flakes rather than kosher salt.  The Maldon Sea Salt Flakes give  the biscuits a little bit of something unexpected when you bit down.. and it softens the wheat whole wheat sweetness with a tad of salty goodness  These are excellent with organic honey in the morning.. they toast up very well. Also very good with stews and soups or just a snack

100% Whole Wheat Biscuits from Perky’s Notebook

(Adapted from Professional Cooking Seventh Edition)

Makes about 12 biscuits

  • 300 grams Whole Wheat Flour ( I used King Author brand)
  • 6 grams Maldon Sea Salt Flakes ( see note above)
  • 15 grams Cane Sugar
  • 19 grams  (YES,,, 19) Baking Powder
  • 107 grams Shortening (I used Crisco.. Make sure it is very cold…I measure this first then put in the refrigerator or freezer to chill while I am getting everything else ready)
  • 193 grams Buttermilk (or milk with 1 Tablespoon white vinegar – sit milk & vinegar mixture on counter for about 15 minutes)
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons Greek Yogurt or other thick plain yogurt
  • A little bit of milk for brushing the tops of biscuits

Just a little side note- these instructions that you about to read are from my own handwritten notes from Le Cordon Bleu so if they seem detailed they are I take very detailed notes…I hope that they help you get an “A” from your family’s taste buds… So here we go… a little moment into my very own Le Cordon Bleu Notebook from Baking & Pastry Class

Procedure:

1)     Make sure that the shortening is very cold.

2)     Make sure that buttermilk is made if do not have real butter milk.

3)     Make sure work surface is clean (dough will be on surface so be extra clean)

4)     Before you scale out the ingredients – cover your scale with cling film ( plastic wrap) This keeps your scale clean and makes clean up super easy It also keeps your scale from getting all sorts of stuff in the little crevices

By covering your scale with Cling film (or plastic wrap) you protect the scale & make clean up very easy!

5)     Scale the ingredients for this I find that if I put all the ingredients on a sheet tray( cookie tray… sorry Chef Susser.- Chef used to always correct me in my International Cuisine class when I would refer to sheet trays as cookie trays…it got to the point where he would just roll his eyes and I would say ohh sorry umm I mean sheet tray Got to use the jargon if you are going to be in the food industry… .LOL ) and take it off as I scale it out then I do not forget anything.  This is a great way to bake especially if you have children or a husband that is in and out of the kitchen while you are baking

6)     To scale means to weigh out ingredients.

7)     To properly weigh out ingredients you have to tare out the container then weigh the ingredient.  To do this, first- press the grams button, you want the scale to be at zero.  Then place the empty container on the scale.  Then with the container on the scale, press the tare button.  The scale should go back to zero, this is good  then place the item you want to weigh in the container.  Now you will have an accurate weight without the weight of the container interfering with the true weight of the item.

Tare- weighing the container that you are placing the product in..STEP ONE

Place product that is to be weighed in container, that is the weight …. you need to do this for every container that you use..STEP THREE

8)     On your clean work surface, use a tami (or a sifter) to sift the flour, sugar & baking powder together

Sifting the flour, sugar & baking powder onto the work surface

9)     Sprinkle the Maldon Sea Salt Flakes over the sifted flour mixture.

10)  Use your bench knife to gather gently mix the flour mixture together with the Maldon Sea Salt Flakes- make sure that the ingredients are evenly distributed together

Using Bench knife to combine all dry ingredients

11)  Then take the shortening out of the refrigerator or freezer

12)  Place shortening on top of the flour mixture

13)  With a bench knife, cut the fat (shortening) into the flour mixture until the fat resembles walnut size pieces… do not make the shortening any smaller (many recipes tell you to make it the size of peas or cornmeal..DO NOT do this..the bigger pieces are essential in keeping the layers of biscuits together while still keeping them light & fluffy- keep the fat walnut size – a cracked walnut)

Cutting the shortening into the flour with the bench knife (want shortening size of walnuts)

14)  Then make a large well

Well in the middle of flour & shortening mixture

15)  Add the wet ingredients, the buttermilk & yogurt

Pouring Buttermilk & Yogurt into the well

16)  With one hand swirl the inside of the well to combine the buttermilk & yogurt with the fat & flour mixture

17)  DON’T knead the dough just incorporate the ingredients, then pat into a rectangle

Biscuit dough after all the buttermilk & yogurt have been added

18)  Then place dough on a sheet tray (cookie tray) cover with cling film (plastic wrap)

19)  Refrigerate for 20 minutes ( meanwhile scrape off the counter top and then wipe down with cloth and dry)

20)  After your workspace is dry and dough has been in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, dust the workspace with whole wheat flour

Workspace dusted with Whole Wheat Flour

21)  Then take the dough out of the refrigerator, use your bench knife to gently lift the dough off the tray & place onto the dusted workspace

22)  Roll out the dough till it is about an inch thick- try to keep a nice rectangle, then fold it over then repeat doing all this by rolling the dough about an inch thick and keeping the rectangular shape … ( this is called lamination)

Lamination- step 1 roll the dough out to about an inch keep in rectangular shape

lamination- step 4 Fold over the rectangle .. do this seven times

23)  Do this 7 times, this is what gives you the nice layers in your dough

24)  Then do a final roll to make the dough about an inch thick

25)  Then with a biscuit cutter (or a glass ) dipped in whole wheat flour, press down on the dough to make the biscuit shapes- DO NOT TURN or TWIST the biscuit cutter, by turning or twisting the biscuit cutter you will ruin all the lovely layers that you just made.  Only press down then lift up

Biscuit cutter in flour ready to shape biscuits

26)  With the bench scraper gently lift the cut biscuits up and place on a sheet tray (cookie tray)

Biscuits waiting to be lifted with bench knife onto the sheet tray (cookie tray)

27)  Then cover tray with cling film (or plastic wrap)

28)  Place covered tray in refrigerator for 20 minutes

29)  Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees & clean your work surface

30)  After biscuits have been in refrigerator for 20 minutes, take sheet tray (cookie tray) out, and remove cling film (plastic wrap).

Biscuits just before the milk brush before baking

31)  With a pastry brush, brush tops lightly with milk

32)  Then place in preheated 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes

33)  These will be very light golden on the top (it is a little hard to tell because they are already a golden color) but the bottoms will be medium brown.

34)  Take out of oven and enjoy!  I love splitting these in half and putting organic honey on them (no butter just honey) the honey soaks the biscuit making it a taste of honey goodness:)

100% Whole Wheat Biscuits from Perky’s Notebook

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